Grill Daddy

Now with summer in full swing, chances are your BBQ is getting a workout, which also brings the chore of cleaning the grill. The Grill Daddy Brush Company, the leading grill brush and accessory company in the industry, sent me their Safety-Clean brush to try out. This bristle-lock brush not only keeps bristles in place, but has a patented water compartment that as the brush makes contact with a hot grill releases a measured amount of water, which turns to steam, and a long ergonomic handle provides leverage while keeping you from getting your hand too close to the heat. When I tried it, the steam action immediately made the cleaning effortless and surprisingly, when I was done the brush did not need any cleaning. And, since it uses nothing other than water and is made with National Safety Foundation approved materials, it is completely non-toxic and green.

The SMRP is $15.99 and it is sold at major retailers such as Williams Sonoma, Target and Walmart or online at

Cusa Premium Instant Tea

According to a 2017 report by International Market Analysis Research and Consulting, “Tea currently represents the world’s second most popular beverage after water,” and the global tea market continues to grow. In addition, not only are more people looking to tea as a healthful addition to their diet, but organic products are desired by many consumers as well. Cusa Premium Instant Tea offers both, and is the world’s first premium organic instant tea. When I received my samples I expected them to be difficult to dissolve, which had been my experience with other instant tea products, but was happily surprised to see how easily it transformed the water, but also appreciated that it is a very nice tasting tea. So good, in fact, that if I didn’t know it was an instant tea product, I would have believed it was traditionally brewed. This innovative, easy to make instant tea contains only high-quality, premium, USDA Organic certified teas and fruits, primarily from India and China, with no additives, fillers or sugar. Cusa Tea is available in 5 tea varietals: Organic English Breakfast, Organic Oolong Tea, Mango Green Tea, Organic Green Tea and Lemon Black Tea.

Cusa Tea sells for $9.99 for a 10 packet box and can be purchased online at

Prairie Organic Gin

Organic on a label should mean not having to worry about chemicals in what you drink. In the case of Prairie Spirits, the grain is grown without pesticides on three family farms in Minnesota and it is USDA Organic Certified. Gin is known for its juniper notes, and while you won’t miss them in this product, they’re lighter than you’d expect from a gin, making this smooth to drink straight, as I preferred to do in my sampling. There are also hints of coriander and exotic spices adding to a refreshing mouthfeel and herbal finish. This gin was a 2013 Gold Winner at the San Francisco World Sprits Competition.

Prairie Organic Gin retails for around $20 per 1 Liter bottle.

Two Summertime Reds

Conventional wisdom holds that red wine is too heavy to drink during the summer as full-bodied, tannic reds can be hard to enjoy when the weather turns hot. Pinot Noir is a grape with a very thin skin, and is thus less tannic than Cabernet Saugivnon, Syrah and Merlot and wines made from this variety tend to be light-bodied and delicate. The Baron Herzog Pinot Noir 2015 out of Oxnard, California should be a good fit for summer, as it features an initial taste that is light and fruity followed by notes of ripe black cherry and strawberry jam.

Baron Herzog 2015 Pinot Noir retails for around $13 per 750 ml bottle.

Another summertime red is the Capçanes Peraj Petita Rosat 2013, produced at the highly regarded Celler de Capçanes in Montsant, Spain. Considered a Garnacha or Grenache, it’s a blend of 60% Garnacha, 15% Tempranillo, 15% Merlot and 10% Syrah, and brings loads of red fruits in taste with a medium finish with soft tannins.

Capçanes Peraj Petita Rosat 2013 retails for around $19 per 750 ml bottle.